Tags: Coburn | budget | taxes | MSNBC

Coburn Slams Budget Deal: 'Raises Taxes'

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 10:49 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Sen. Tom Coburn Wednesday slammed the budget deal before Congress, saying it would "raise fees, raise money, steal money."

"What we do is we raise fees, raise money, steal money. Raise the costs of pensions for federal workers. Do these other things in the out years that will never be guaranteed to be there. And, say we cut a deal," the Oklahoma Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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"I'm real disappointed in the deal," Coburn said.

The two-year agreement was brokered by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Democrat Sen. Patty Murray. It calls for an increase in discretionary spending, raises fees, and stops sequestration cuts over the next two years.

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"They said there is no tax increases," said Coburn. "All of it is tax increases because eventually an American pays for it. So they did raise taxes."

The two-term senator maintained that the Washington establishment is more interested in keeping the status quo on budget issues. He called Ryan and Murray "two very well-meaning individuals" who "hammered out an agreement to get past a political event."

"We're going to raise spending back up, because the political powers that be want to spend more money, rather than be responsible with what we know needs to be done up here — which is hard work eliminating all the stupidity, fraud, duplication that's going on," he said.

"I'm sure it's the best Paul could get. But, it's not anything I can support," Coburn said.

Wasteful government spending is ignored in the budget deal before Congress, the two-term senator maintained. He said Congress is failing to do its job and "be responsible."

"We're going to put out the waste book again this year. It's got $25 billion in stupid spending this year. None of that's addressed in this. None of the waste, the duplication, the fraud. None of it," he said.

Coburn suggested keeping the sequester levels where they are, and specifically addressing duplication of services. He said that savings alone could offset the sequester cuts.

"Let's just eliminate duplications over the next year. You can pay two-and-a-half times what the sequester is," he said. "We will have an agreement, and go on and function with government. Every dollar that you save is a dollar we'll add back on sequester."

Former adviser to President Barack Obama, David Axelrod, appearing on the same show, said, "We all acknowledge that there are some long-term issues that have to be dealt with.

"I don't disagree with Sen. Coburn," Axelrod added. "Anybody who spends time in Washington understands there are savings to be made. And, it's hard to get them, because of bureaucracy safeguards."

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough took issue with the process of lawmakers making deals behind closed doors, and then pressuring members of Congress to vote for them.

"Leaders go behind closed doors, come up with this massive deal, and then come out and stick a gun to conservatives' heads and say, 'You either support this, or you are for a government shutdown.'

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"That's how they continue shoving these bad deals down our throats. That's why conservatives are repelled by it," Scarborough, who also served as a Congressman from Florida, said.

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